What does angina feel like? - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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What does angina feel like?

dunestar
dunestar

Hi, am new on this forum. Have just been diagnosed with angina at specialist heart hospital after ECG, echo cardiogram and most recently stress echo cardiogram. Was a bit of a shock as I don't have any chest pain. Awaiting angiogram.

Initially went to GP as feeling very breathless. Sometimes in cold weather I feel like I can't get any air in.

If you have angina please can you describe what it feels like for you? Thanks.

17 Replies
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Hi, thats unusual that you’re not feeling any chest pain. Before my bypass surgery, I would get a painful tightness in my chest and arms if I exercised too hard. It would disappear when I took my GTN spray and rested. The angiogram will give you a definitive answer as to the condition of you coronary arteries.

My only symptom was breathlessness, particularly in cold or windy weather, angiogram didn't really show much.

dunestar
dunestar
in reply to bantam12

Thanks Bantam12. Sounds exactly like me. Not looking forward to the winter weather. Yet to have angiogram, so as DavidKeith52 says it should provide more answers. But intriguing that your angiogram didn't show much. Is the diagnosis still angina and did the doctors explain what was causing the breathlessness?

bantam12
bantam12
in reply to dunestar

Although my angio was ok I was given a beta blocker but when I saw a different Cardiologist some time later he said I didn't need it. I have the breathlessness again so starting the whole performance again !

dunestar
dunestar
in reply to bantam12

Good luck bantam12!

I have never had angina or chest pains but have had heart attacks, so its difficult to know isn't it.

Take care

C

dunestar
dunestar
in reply to CharlesL

Thanks CharlesL. Yes, I'm finding things aren't straightforward.

I was diagnosed with Angina at the end of last year. I didn’t have any chest pain but I did get breathless & got pain between my shoulder blades. I have asthma & thought it was that getting worse. I had an angiogram in February this year & 3 arteries were blocked. The cardiologist told me it was not unusual for patients suffering from Angina not to have chest pains. I had a triple bypass in April.

Jean

If you have diabetes you may not feel any pain at all. This is often the case if you have diabetes for a long time due to nerve endings in arteries being affected. I had a HA last year I never felt it so didn't realise it had happened. Only reason I sought medical help was because I felt absolutely dreadful.

dunestar
dunestar
in reply to Twobells

Thanks Twobells. Fortunately I don't have diabetes - blood sugar levels checked recently. I never thought I would say this but perhaps some pain is good as it at least tells you something is wrong. I kind of stumbled into the GP's surgery because I had a feeling something must be wrong but no idea what.

Hi Dunestar

Everyone's symptoms can be different - unique to you. Just listen to the experts and your body. It's a learning process.

I had symptoms for years and felt like my GP wasn't listening. I moved out of area (& doctors) - ended up in a&e - new doctors got things moving. Seems like I've had angina for years without being diagnosed. Got diagnosed July this year & even though on a lot of meds - feeling 80% better.

Xxx

dunestar
dunestar
in reply to Jro77

Thanks Jro77. Yes, feel like I'm at the bottom of a big learning curve! Luckily I feel I'm in good hands medically. I live about 10 mins drive from specialist heart hospital at Harefield.

Twobells
Twobells
in reply to dunestar

Angina can sharp dull ache, sharp pain, more noticeable if your are breathless. There is not always pain sometimes it can just be a tightness in your chest, or pain inbetween your shoulder blades.

dunestar
dunestar
in reply to Twobells

Thanks Twobells. Sometimes I get tightness if the weather is cold but otherwise nothing. It's a very confusing condition!

Jro77
Jro77
in reply to dunestar

That's really good dunestar. I have an awfully lot to learn too. But I live this site and I've learned a lot from the lovely people on here too 💝 xx

Hi just to say that I first had angina in 1993 for weeks before my heart attack and bypass aged 36 and at the time did not know what it was but the severe pain sure stopped me in my tracks, years later when my angina returned and with the help of GTN spray and other many medications it is stable unless under stress, I Personally think that the more blockages a person has relates to the amount of pain you receive, I have many stents and many blockages so when I get angina it is pretty severe with crushing chest pain and tightness and feels like I have run a marathon until I take my GTN spray and recedes after a few minutes. Hope this helps and just to let you know its 25 years since my first episode so there is great help out there, good luck.

dunestar
dunestar
in reply to dave1957

Hi dave1957. Thanks so much. Yes, I feel I'm in good hands as we have a specialist heart hospital locally. Your story does give me hope!

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